AS 2021 drew to a close, Farnham Swimming Club (FSC) had much to celebrate.
Despite the closure of pools, the club maintained a regular routine of fun Zoom workouts through lockdown which helped the swimmers keep in shape for their return to the pool.
Those in the competitive squads wasted no time in getting back to training and it has been an incredibly busy season.
Zack Westhead represented FSC in December at the National Winter Championships in Sheffield.
Between September and December, FSC swimmers competed in meets hosted by Rushmoor Royals, Wycombe District Swimming Club and three meets hosted by Hart Swimming Club.
A highlight of the season has, of course, been the National Arena Swimming League where selected swimmers get the opportunity to compete as a team rather than individually.
This year FSC were promoted to Division One West, putting them in competition with clubs such as Guildford City and Hart - and the swimmers certainly did FSC proud!
The talent, energy and enthusiasm from the swimmers - and the deafening cheering from the parent spectators - put FSC firmly on the map.
FSC pride themselves on being a close-knit community and while some swimmers were back in the pool after lockdown like ducks to water, some found the return harder and had to overcome anxieties around fitness and competitive swimming.
All the coaches, led by head coach Sean Bailey, put mental welfare first and foremost in their development of swimmers and have helped all members of the club to build back their confidence to achieve their goals.
The ages of swimmers at FSC range from four to 58. Our Learn to Swim programme within our academy squads focuses on establishing and developing stroke technique which helps swimmers to progress either to fitness or competitive squads to continue their love of swimming.
At the other end of the spectrum are the Masters, who regularly compete at national level.
There was a short and well-deserved break for FSC swimmers over Christmas, but training started again early in the new year.
The deadline to achieve Surrey county qualifying times is January 19 and those selected for the county championships will be competing next month at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, as well as the prestigious London Aquatics Centre - for the first time in two years!
So there is lots to look forward to - including the epic Masters v Kids club gala where the Masters will once again strive to beat the Kids, the reigning champions for the past two galas, by any method they can!
Anyone who has a child who loves swimming and would like to know more can email [email protected] and go down to the club for a free trial.
They mainly train at Farnham Leisure Centre and we have openings for swimmers of all abilities. Regardless of whether you want to swim competitively or for fitness, there is a squad for everyone!
By Kathryn Virji